Why the best European river cruise is Riverside Luxury Cruises

by Beth Graham
Riverside luxury cruises

Until recently, I was a river cruise virgin. That was until I was invited to sail with Riverside Luxury Cruises on the Mozart, once considered one of the most luxurious ships (and I would still agree with that today). I was familiar with a Viking cruise, but I was excited to try a new line. Riverside Luxury Cruises is a relatively new player in the river cruise market, after purchasing the entire fleet of river ships once owned by Crystal Cruises, which suspended operations on all its luxury vessels in January 2022 (a fatality of the pandemic). The parent company of Riverside is the German hotel firm, Seaside Collection, which owns and operates 11 boutique properties in Europe and the Maldives. Riverside has set out to disrupt the river cruise market with an elevated and personalized cruising experience with a strong emphasis on luxury and service. We sailed the Danube from Vienna to Budapest and it was magnificent. It is truly among the best luxury river cruise lines.

What sets the Riverside Mozart apart and make it the best river cruise is its size. At 23 meters wide, the ship is double the width of other river cruise vessels so you really appreciate the added spaciousness. Unlike most cruise ships with standard, tight cabins, the Riverside Mozart features all suites, the smallest of which measures 20 square meters.  Suites are spacious with upscale furnishing including French balconies, marble bathrooms, Toto toilets, and Nespresso® machines.  The passenger-to-crew ratio is also one of the best (if not the best) in the industry with 158 passengers and a dedicated crew of 82.  Personal butlers provide attentive and personalized services for each guest.

Riverside Mozart
Riverside Luxury Cruises Mozart

The rivers of Europe are incredibly scenic so the Mozart’s upper sun deck provides a tranquil and spacious setting to relax and take in the breathtaking views. For those yearning for relaxation, the onboard spa offers a luxurious retreat, complete with an indoor pool, hot tub, invigorating sauna, steam room, and a well-equipped gym. Guests can also indulge in a variety of rejuvenating treatments and salon services at the spa.

Another feature that sets Riverside apart from other river cruise companies is the dining experience. On the Mozart, there are four separate restaurants, including a unique pop-up barbecue on deck and an exclusive vintage room offering a 7-course private dinner with wine pairings. The onboard chef takes pride in preparing meals à la minute, showcasing inspired local dishes that change with each destination. Every evening, the ship’s sommeliers offer their personal recommendations from a pretty extensive curated wine list.

When it comes to excursions, the Riverside Mozart goes above and beyond to curate memorable experiences for its guests including one-of-a-kind excursions that set it apart from other river cruises. During my voyage, we enjoyed an after-hours private viewing of Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” at Vienna’s Belvedere Museum. Riverside also offers enrichment programs that include expert lectures, cultural performances, cooking classes, and guided excursions. These programs are designed to enhance the travel experience by providing deeper insights into the destinations.

Riverside Luxury Cruises currently operates three ships: Riverside Mozart, Riverside Ravel, and Riverside Debussy sailing the Danube, Rhine, and Seine. Their itineraries often cover culturally rich and scenic destinations in Europe.

If you’re wondering what is the best river cruise in Europe, you need to experience Riverside. This is boutique, high-end river cruising at its best with personalized service, luxury accommodations, and cultural enrichment.

My advice is that you book directly with Riverside Luxury Cruises or go through a travel agent. Often, you can add flights as part of your package. Most people wonder what is the best time to take a river cruise so it’s important to do the research. It really depends on the specific river you wish to cruise and the climate. 

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More